Running her long, refined fingers past your hair—the smoothness of her skin made it feel thinner than you’d like to have remembered. Standing before you, silent, her belly leveled with your helplessly down-tilted and slumberous head, she emanated waves of almost intangible, lulling warmth that was all the more irresistibly unsettling.
“…go to sleep.” Tiresome, you slowly seized her by the wrist, too spent to look up and into her face.
The night was dark, and it had rendered everything dim. Even the small lamp in the living room corner seemed somnolent, unwilling to illuminate expressions.
“But you are the one who actually needs it” she said, quietly, as she gently broke away from your refusing hand.
It didn’t occur to you before how firmly your drunken hands had clasped around her well-intended reach—you were blindly hurting her and her kind caressing. How could you have been so in over your head, so much so, that you failed to tend to the her, right then so close, the her whom you adored like no other?
“I’m fine, and uhhhum, strong. I’m a trooper, remember?” You let out a slight chuckle, stubbornly clinging to your light-hearted and nonchalant shtick.
That was the kind of humor you exercised, to her and yourself, to kick anything you dared not to confront under the carpet, and to lead conversations to their desired dead ends.
In truth, in that particular moment, as you sat on the sofa, leaning forward and struggled to prop up your sinking head from falling under, you felt more worn and vulnerable than ever—one nudge from her crafty hands and you’d been side ways like a dead log.
Are men really, deep down, all helplessly prideful and self-contradicting creatures?
“Even a trooper needs some comfort” moving your futile hands away, she let her hand run through your hair once more, allowing it to rest by the base of your neck.
That’s the way she was, able to discern all your boyish pretense with such ease; yet she did so while having managed to acknowledge it—humoring you without sacrificing the authenticity of her own ideals. She knew, that you knew that she knew, in the face of her, you were forever powerless. Even then, in spite of the occasions when you grew indelicate, she never took the convenience of jabbing at places you were the most tender.
For she was all-powerful, and kind like that, like the way she is.